Embrace Challenges to Achieve Success
The best advice, I received from my mentor, our CEO Dr. Lisa Su, was this: In your career, you have to be smart and capable. But you also have to be lucky! Now, how do you control that luck or own that luck? It is by running towards a problem. Embrace a challenge and give it all you have to succeed. It is then, that you will get to showcase your leadership capabilities. As Einstein said, “In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”
Agreed, that it is less common for women to be in leadership positions. But times are changing and you have a significant role to play in changing the status quo. Establish your own identity as a leader by playing to your core strengths. Stand up for what you believe is right, be open to taking on new challenges, and do not shy away from making bold decisions when required.
It will not always be easy to be accepted as a leader. There will be times, when you will have to doubly prove yourself to earn the respect and position from team members and peers. Long work hours, cross-site meetings, and corporate travel, along with care-giving responsibilities at home, will at times become challenging to balance. Don’t give up! Build your support system, both inside and outside work. Remember, these challenges are temporary and can be worked out without having to sacrifice your career.
Many a time, I see women treating their careers or jobs as optional. They are willing to give them up in face of lifecycle changes. This is unfortunate, as we are losing so many talented young women from the industry. Progressive organizations support women employees’ efforts to balance these responsibilities by offering telecommuting opportunities, flexible work hours, and long leave for fathers to co-own parental responsibilities. I have been fortunate to work in one such organization and grow up the leadership ladder in the last 11 years. I hope these policies will become more prevalent in companies and young women will get the required support to cope with the challenges of balancing family and career.